To scale, or not to scale – that is not the only question. Rethinking the idea and practice of scaling innovations for development and progress (Thesis)
The term scaling (up) has become increasingly popular over the past three decades in the context of development initiatives and related investment proposals. Such scaling (up) generally relates to innovations, which include (new) technologies, practices (and habits), policies (and wider institutions), and projects. The approach of scaling innovations is often presented as the instrument par excellence for addressing grand challenges in/for society, to the extent that it may be regarded as a core development paradigm or even ideology. This thesis presents the case for a need to approach ideas and practices related to scaling more critically than is commonly done. This includes a need to consider related complexities and potentially negative implications from a more holistic perspective. The thesis discusses concerns as well as opportunities for developing a practice of responsible scaling of innovations.